This Saturday is the start of Banned Books Week. Sponsored by the ALA, American Library Association. This organization keeps track of books that are being banned or challenged in our public library systems. While searching the site I discovered this Graphic Novel was being challenged:
The Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill
This graphic novel was a part of a group of books that 950 residents of Jessamine County in Nicolasville, Kentucky requested be removed from the library. According to the petitions signers the book constituted:
“a public safety issue”
The petitioners also claimed that the book offended them and in their opinion “was offensive and contrary to the Jessamine County Library’s public opinion.”
Two employees were fired for breaching library policies and the library director was threatened with bodily harm. In the end the book was allowed to stay in the library. The book is still available to library patrons but it is catalogued in a special section with other mature graphic novels.
Faced with similar protests in other towns Graphic Novels and Manga have not always fared so well. Now I’m sure a lot of you are thinking what does this have to do with me? I have my local comic shop/mail order service/ bookstore.
It’s important that ALL books be protected whether we care for them or not. It was a mere 40 to 50 years ago that EC comics offices were being subjected to search and seizure and public schools and churches where holding “burning” parties for comics. I highly recommend the book : The Ten Cent Plague for a look at that time period.
So this week I’m inviting Comic fans to do one or all off the following:
VISIT: Stop into your local library. Check out their comic book section and see what it has to offer. Talk to your librarian. If they don’t have a Graphic Novel section ask them what it takes to get one started and how you can help. It’s also important to suggest an additional collection for ADULTS. In the case of Black Dossier I personally believe it’s better suited for age 18+
Check your collection. See if there are any graphic novels you can donate or buy a new one for the libraries collection.
READ: Visit the ALA at www.ala.org/bbooks Pick up a book from their frequently challenged books list . Check out some small press and Indie comics at your local comic shop. These books are frequently challenged, do to mature themes and strong language.
Visit www.cbldf.org and make a pay pal donation, what ever you can spare. I donated $10.00 . The CBLDF does amazing work. It’s a great way to protect the comic book community.
I hope you all can do one or all of these Ill be visiting my local library and taking them a stack of Manga!
If you want to see what books I’ll be reading and my review of :
Black Dossier, visit me on September 25th at: www.fictionstateofmind.blogspot.com